Recently BlackLion and I were having a conversation about Being. What I mean by that, with the fancy capital letter and all, is that feeling you have when you’re centered in your own essence. You have a sense of inner calm and relaxation, and you’re comfortable with your place in the Universe.
You’re not (necessarily) doing anything, you’re just Being.
Over the past year or so, I’ve been practicing Being in that state, no matter what is going on around me. It’s a great way to cope with stress and conflict, as well as enabling a stronger focus on your most important priorities in life. It’s like mindfulness meditation, in a way, though I flavor my own practice with the tools that are meaningful to me: journaling, spending time outside in nature, doing yoga, making gratitude lists, expanding my spiritual studies, and using affirmations.
When I was sharing with BlackLion about my practice of Being myself no matter what was happening around me, he said, “Oh! That’s why you like chaos!”
Chaos is an essential part of the material world. Chaos and order are part of the yin and yang duality that makes up all things. Chaos knocks you out of the status quo. It brings change and thus growth. Chaos sparks new ideas and inspirations, and gives you a chance to get really creative in your problem-solving.
When you can remain centered in Being, or know how to return there when you get knocked off-balance, you start to acknowledge chaos as just another energy. You don’t saddle it with the fear and dread that it might have held for you before.
These past couple of weeks, chaos entered our family’s life in the form of an unexpected accident. This had repercussions for all of us. My aunt has had to deal with lots of pain, being dependent on others, and the frustration of having her plans put on hold. For me personally, I’ve been worried about her, and about my mom as she got run down and ill. My routine has been interrupted and I haven’t been able to focus as much on things that are important to me, like writing and exercise.
However, it’s also been a good lesson for me in many areas of my life. I’ve expanded my appreciation for my family and how supportive we are of one another. I’ve noticed how quickly the practice of Being gets challenged when you’re feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. I’ve been able to allow myself to get thrown off course, yet to not attach myself to feeling bad about it.
Accidents happen, and I’m more than willing to rearrange my life to help out a loved one. The old pattern that arose for me is thinking that I should be able to do all that AND all of my usual work. I’ve always been hardest on myself. Can you relate?
One of my mentors recently said that when we’re practicing keeping our energies clear and feeling really good, then we notice even more quickly when we do fall out of alignment. I’ve found that to be so true. On Sunday evening I was feeling overwhelmed and began to spiral into self-recrimination. I was crying and freaking out. I’d wanted to use the evening to get caught up on some writing projects, but instead I had a terrible headache. We had a thunderstorm and lost our electricity for a while, so I went off to bed early.
On Monday, I was able to see with real clarity what was going on. The stress of worrying about my loved ones, the interruption to my routine, and less down time than normal had built up. I did my energy clearing meditation, wrote in my journal, and got re-centered in Being.
I reminded myself of my basic worthiness, and that I didn’t have to do certain things in order to be living a fulfilling life. With a sigh of release, I danced myself back into the center, back into Being.
When crises or challenges arise, even though they aren’t things you would have chosen, you have a choice. You can add to the inherent stress of the situation by freaking out, then attaching yourself to those feelings, or you can continue to dance.
And let me be clear: freaking out is totally acceptable. You need to really feel your emotions in order to move through them. It’s what you do afterwards that makes your life easier or harder. Can you step back into the center, into that inner calm that exists at your core? Will you allow chaos to bring you growth, learning, and powerful change? Rather than living in fear or anger, can you accept what is and then adapt accordingly?
Chaos is a powerful force, and not one that’s ever going to go away. By learning to be in your center most of the time, when crises arise, you’ll find them easier to deal with. When you feel out of whack, you’ll remember how to get back to your center.
Practicing just Being when you’re feeling good will help you out when things get challenging.